THE Lancashire Cricket Board got it right when they reinstated Little Lever in the Lancashire Knockout, according to the Victory Road club skipper Josh Gent.
Little Lever will now play Prestwich in the last 16 after Bolton Association rivals Walshaw, who beat them in the previous round, were thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player.
The LCB made the ruling on Monday night after the Bolton League champions made an official complaint following their 98-run defeat.
“There is not really much to say about it because I don’t really think there was any other decision the LCB could have made,” said Gent. “It was obviously the right decision. Walshaw broke the rules, so unfortunately for them they have had to pay the consequences.”
The “defeat” ended a run of three straight wins for Little Lever, which they followed up with a defeat to Astley Bridge in the league last weekend before shocking Bradshaw in the Hamer Cup quarter-finals.
They cruised to a comfortable 143-run victory over the second-placed Rigby’s outfit to set up a last-four showdown with Farnworth Social Circle. And Gent has called for a repeat performance tomorrow when they entertain Bradshaw again, this time in the league.
“We absolutely hammered them,” he said, reflecting on the cup clash.
“They have obviously been playing very well, but, just like everybody else, you only get what you deserve on the day.
“Just as their previous league form didn’t matter in a one-off game last week, the same applies this weekend.
“I’m not saying we are better than them – if they finish above us at the end of the season then that will prove they are the better side – but we are not scared of sides like Bradshaw.”
He added: “Last season was a lot of fun because we were pretty much going for the title from day one. This season it is clear that’s probably not going to happen, but we are all lads from Little Lever going out and enjoying our cricket together and having a laugh.
“So the more games we can play and the more competitions we can play in the better.”
Bradshaw go into tomorrow’s encounter at Victory Road with just one league defeat to their name so far this season and only seven points behind leaders Social Circle.
And they will hope to capitalise on any slip-up from the table-toppers, who face a tough trip to Greenmount.
Elsewhere, a resurgent Horwich, who are fourth in the table and in the semi-finals of the Hamer Cup, entertain an eighth-placed Egerton side smarting after seeing their own title hopes undermined by three early-season defeats.